Ornamental Herb Garden
Review Trevor Edwards
8 July 2002
Until now, as someone who does not have
a herb garden I only ever contemplated a "Herb
Garden" in the true sense of the words.
In this book the author approaches herbs from
a Garden Makers point of view, rather
than the herbal remedies, beauty treatments,
and culinary uses of herbs.
Herbs are among the most valuable of garden
plants, but their ornamental qualities are all
too often overlooked.
The convenient sized book is well populated
with meaningful photographs and coloured detailed
layout plans, all of which is cleverly related
to the nearby text. In the text, Catherine Mason
provides a wealth of imaginative ideas for creating
beautiful herb gardens of all kinds, from simple
window boxes filled with culinary herbs, through
colour-themed herb borders, to traditional knot
The first half of the book is devoted, in a
non-taxing manor, to the theory of designing
the herb garden. There is good instruction on
surveying your existing space and producing
the all important plan dont be
put off its easier than it sounds.
I like the paragraph in the Design & Decoration
chapter, were Catherine advises one to be realistic
about how much time will be available for maintenance
after the initial planting. Clipping hedges,
weeding, sowing seeds, thinning seedlings and
watering containers can take up a considerable
amount of time. Dont be put off, she goes
on to say that if time is severely restricted,
by planting only perennial herbs which come
up year after year, and those annuals which
obligingly sow themselves maintenance time can
be reduced but not eliminated.
The book gives very good practical advice on
planting and taking cuttings. I enjoyed the
paragraph, which states collect propagation
material early in the morning, while the parent
plants are still fresh after the cool of the
Guidance is given on siting the herb garden,
choosing a layout and construction of the "hard
landscape" of paths and walls. There is
a chapter on planting, which explains practicalities.
The second half of the book covers in detail
eight specially photographed case studies of
established herb gardens to show how all the
theory can be put into practice. In this section
the word descriptions and realistic, mature
photographs together with detailed coloured
plans and planting schedules assist the recreation
of any of the themed gardens.
The final chapter provides helpful symbolised
detailed information on Fifty Decorative Herbs,
covering Botanical and Common names, height
and spread characteristics, positional requirements,
the suitability for use as Medicinal, Cosmetic,
or Culinary purposes. Furthermore it provides
information on which are not suitable for containers
and warnings of those which are hazardous.
loved the book and would highly recommend it
to any one who is considering a "Herb Garden"
or "Creating Compact Gardens".
The Ornamental Herb Garden
Author Catherine Mason
Publisher Conran Octopus